[OSM-talk] stop deleting abandoned railroads

Maarten Deen mdeen at xs4all.nl
Fri Aug 14 06:47:08 UTC 2015

On 2015-08-14 08:23, Russ Nelson wrote:
> Maarten Deen writes:
>  > On 2015-08-14 07:44, Russ Nelson wrote:
>  > > Maarten Deen writes:
>  > >  > I beg your pardon? I read this as "nothing can be deleted", 
> since
>  > > you
>  > >  > say that deleting something you don't see (which usually means 
> it's
>  > > not
>  > >  > there) is reason for a ban.
>  > >
>  > > No, nobody is going to get banned for just one action. But if they
>  > > consistently go around deleting things because *they* didn't see 
> the
>  > > thing, and are counselled that that is not how we do things, and
>  > > persists in doing it (and advising others to do it), yeah, 
> deleting
>  > > things that can be seen is reason to ban somebody, just as is any
>  > > other kind of damage to the map data.
>  >
>  > That last statement is something different than "I didn't see it,
>  > so I deleted it" So I'm still confused. Please confine the answer
>  > to the deletion of things that are not present.
> You are mixing two ideas: 1) that something is not present, and 2)
> that everyone who doesn't see something is competent to judge that it
> is not present.
> Examples: a blind person doesn't see anything. Why can't they delete
> everything? Trivial, I know, but that's the claim. Less trivial:
> someone with limited vision. Are we now administering eye tests before
> we allow people to map? What about somebody with left neglect? Should
> they delete something because it's on their left? They won't see it.
> Less trivial examples: A subway (for all of the meanings). A
> pipeline. Aqueduct. Buried electrical mains. We map above-ground, why
> not map buried? Underground fire hydrants. Rich Welty has mapped all
> the fire hydrants in the Albany area, for good reason. What about
> places where they are underground? Don't map them??  Why? Delete them
> if they're mapped?
> A very strong example: we map political boundaries. The only boundary
> I've ever seen is the one between the US and Canada. It's a 30' wide
> clearcut with concrete pillars every klik or so. We map
> placenames. Never seen a big pin sticking in the ground saying
> "Potsdam, NY" where we have it mapped.
> What if I was to add the aqueduct which goes past Aqueduct Race Track
> on Long Island, NY? It is without question there (the name "Aqueduct"
> should be a pretty good hint), yet it cannot be seen anywhere. Why not
> map that? Why map the Catskill aqueducts, which also cannot be seen?
> See? The simple "Delete things you don't see" is just plain wrong.
> And "I didn't see it so I deleted it" is not always a valid
> defense. If I started deleting NY political boundaries, I'd get my ass
> canned in a New York minute, and deservedly so.

I won't go into your point about political boundaries. That's not 
applicable here, we're talking about physical features.
But still you say that noting can be deleted, except maybe by the person 
who created it.
IMHO a bit of a "I reject reality and substitute my own" attitude. "_I_ 
see that something is there and don't you dare delete it because you 
don't see it.

You're talking about abandoned railroads. Sure, if tracks are there, 
they are present. But what if only the groundworks of the railroad is 
What when we subsitute railroad with road in general? Is it also not 
acceptable to delete a road when only a clearing remains?


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